NASA seeks life on Mars, but all discovered artifacts are classified

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NASA seeks life on Mars, but all discovered artifacts are classified
NASA seeks life on Mars, but all discovered artifacts are classified
20 October 2021, 11:31SciencePhoto: shazoo.ru
At the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), all projects are classified. This is especially true of the work of the Perseverance rover. But still, curious information about the finds and discoveries on the Red Planet sometimes leaks into the Western media.

Gennady Charodeyev

Competition in space is intensifying. Russian scientists have every reason to suspect their American colleagues that they are actively "darkening", hiding really interesting findings on the Red Planet. After all, previous American probes and rovers have consistently reported sensational data. For example, the valleys of huge rivers, grandiose volcanoes, the giant Mariner gorge, various sedimentary and igneous rocks, an abundance of the rare mineral maghemite on Earth were discovered. Finally, clear traces of past life and artifacts very similar to man-made were found on Mars.

It is no longer a secret that at one time, photographs of mysterious objects similar to pyramids, drawings on rocks, "sculptures", building foundations, UFOs, pipelines, tunnels, entrances to the bowels of the planet with "doors" and "hatches" were transferred to Earth. roads. The pictures were transferred, in which the experts saw artifacts similar to boards, shells, lizard bones and even anthropoid skulls. And so Perseverance was launched on Mars, which is persistently looking for traces of life on Mars.

On February 18, 2021, NASA researchers breathed a sigh of relief: Perseverance gently sank to the surface of Mars at a given location. This happened in the Jezero crater, presumably formed as a result of the impact of a large meteorite 3.5 billion years ago. Maybe there is life there?

By the way, Perseverance is worth $ 2.4 billion. It would be very costly to lose such a device to NASA in the local sands. Moreover, there were precedents: this is how the Spirit rover got stuck, when it seemed to its ground control team that it could drive where in fact it could not.

The crater 49 km in diameter was chosen as the landing site for a reason. In the beginning, according to the journal Science , scientists carefully studied the images received from space from the satellites of Mars. They show the bottom of the crater, covered with cracked soil, reminiscent of sedimentary clay. This led scientists to believe that hundreds of millions of years ago, the climate on Mars was significantly warmer and the atmosphere is denser than today. At the same time, some experts claim that there was once a lake on the site of the crater, into which a large river flowed from the west, and in the water, apparently, there was also primitive life.

“We are asked: what is new here? Didn't you know that there is clay in Jezero Crater? No, they didn't. We were judging from the images from orbit, but to be completely sure that it is gradually formed water precipitation, observations are needed on the surface”, - Professor Sanjeev Gupta of Imperial College London told the Air Force.

Particularly promising are the images of the 80-meter high Kodiak, which clearly shows the classic horizontal layers of sediment. As precipitation accumulated, the hill grew in height and width.

It turns out that the rover has another very interesting task - preparing for the landing of a man on Mars. To do this, Perseverance was equipped with an instrument called the Martian Oxygen Research Experiment. He must test the use of technology to produce oxygen from carbon dioxide in the Martian atmosphere. If all goes well, the facility will produce 22 grams of oxygen per hour for 50 Martian days and will become the prototype for a large unit for the first Martian manned mission.

On the body of the rover itself, many different video cameras and microphones are installed, which NASA specialists use to review and navigate the terrain, but also to record Martian sounds. Perseverance transmitted the "sighs" of Mars to Earth, but for some reason the Americans decided to classify them just in case.

Interestingly, in addition to the rover itself, a miniature Ingenuity helicopter was also equipped to a distant planet to observe Mars from a bird's eye view. The machine weighs 1.8 kg and is charged by a solar battery. Because of the rarefied atmosphere, NASA engineers had to break their heads back on Earth: the rotor blades of the helicopter were made longer and they rotate faster than those of terrestrial helicopters.

Since the spring of this year, Ingenuity has taken off 12 times, moving away from the main vehicle at a distance of up to 625 m horizontally and 200 m in height. But so far, scientists watching their offspring from Earth have not seen anything alive. In any case, nothing is known about this.

The robot installed on the rover, at the whim of scientists, also drills the surface of the planet. A few days ago, a special drill went six centimeters deep into the wind-polished gray Martian soil, extracted a cylindrical rock sample the size of a felt-tip pen and packed it into a titanium container fixed under the bottom of the rover.

Spectrographic analysis made with Perseverance instruments showed the presence of mineral salts and particles of lava basalt in it. Of course, no microorganisms could survive in dry soil for hundreds of millions of years, but their subtle chemical traces may have remained.

To check this, a sample and two dozen more samples, which will be taken in the future in different places of the crater, must be delivered to Earth and thoroughly studied in the best laboratories using advanced technologies.

According to the BBC, NASA and its partners from the European Space Agency are already preparing a complex operation called "Return of Martian Specimens" - one of the most ambitious projects in the history of space exploration.

The operation will take place in several stages. First, the spacecraft will deliver the British Sample Fetch Rover to Jezero Crater, which will approach Perseverance, take samples and load them onto its ship. It starts, goes into Mars orbit, and there it will dock with the transport ship. Sample Fetch Rover trials on Earth will begin in November 2021.

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